Fake News Jumps Fake Shark

Everyone knows the shark Fonzie jumped way back when was fake, right? So what do you get when fake news jumps the fake shark? You get the kind of stories about Trump that we’re seeing right now.

First, Gizmodo runs a story about how the awful and evil Trump transition team is dismissing the people who run the National Nuclear Security Administration:

Between the Trump transition team’s infightingincompetence, and high-profile resignations, any decisions that signaled even a modicum of stability for the country would come as a relief at this point. Unfortunately, the nascent Trump Administration isn’t inclined to calm anyone’s nerves. According to an official within the Department of Energy, the Trump transition team has declined to ask the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration and his deputy to temporarily stay in their roles after Trump takes office on January 20th.

Whoa! Start the impeachment process right away!

Although, it is worth looking at the entire headline:

Trump Is Letting Go the People in Charge of Maintaining Our Nuclear Arsenal [Updated]

“Updated” you say? How about “corrected,” on the way to being “withdrawn”? Here’s the correction:

Correction, 1/9/17, 11:03 p.m., : Another NNSA official, speaking on background to Gizmodo and Defense News, has disputed this report as “inaccurate” while confirming that “there have been no discussions between the president-elect’s transition team and any of NNSA’s political appointees on extending their public service past Jan. 20.” In other words, the Trump transition team has not asked the top two NNSA officials to stay on until they can be replaced.

After speaking to our source for clarification, we have updated the story and headline to reflect that, while Klotz and Creedon have submitted their resignations, intend to depart on January 20, and have not been asked by the Trump transition to stay past that date, the Trump team has not explicitly instructed them to leave or “clean out their desks,” as we reported. According to our source, both officials “have expressed [to the Trump team] that they would likely be willing to stay to facilitate a smooth transition, if asked,” as is the tradition for key officials, and have received no response.

In other words, this is a totally bogus story.

But that is just a warmup, apparently. The story Paul noted below about the supposed Russian dossier of compromising information about Trump is looking phonier by the moment. Without even referring to the critics who are calling it a hoax, there are a number  of obvious peculiarities in the document that has been released to call its authenticity into question. I’ve read a lot of declassified CIA reports of this kind over the years, and this one looks off. Way off.

First of all, it’s called a “Company Intelligence Report”? I know the CIA is often referred to as “The Company,” but I doubt they use that shorthand on documents like this. I don’t recall ever seeing one like that before. It’s not even clear that this document supposedly came from the CIA. It is being reported in a few places that it came from some private sector organization, or a contractor to the CIA. But who would call such a thing a “Company Intelligence Report”? A third-rate, wannabe thriller writer probably.

Second, there is something plainly odd about the paragraph about Trump booking the same suite at the Moscow Ritz Carlton as the Obamas. The report says the Russians have all of the rooms at the Ritz bugged for audio and video, implying they have footage of Trump’s alleged disgusting acts. Stop right there: Would the Obamas ever stay in a room bugged by the Russians? Would the Secret Service allow it? Wouldn’t the room have been swept?  I suppose it can be argued the bugs were removed for Obamas visit and reinstalled for Trump, but this stretches credibility.

Third, the paragraph of “detail” on the bottom of page 13 about how Sergei IVANOV “was angry at the recent turn of events” doesn’t sound at all like the kind of writing in intelligence reports that come out of Langley, even if they had actual audio tape of IVANOV being angry. The whole paragraph reeks of fakery.

I’ll bet this story falls apart faster than a Dan Rather memo on national guard service.

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